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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Bram Stoker’s Dracula perfect Halloween Treat at CSC

dracula carl cross

“Even if you are very familiar with the story from the book, or the many tv and film versions, this clever staging and impressive cast will provide a properly chillingly experience.– Rick Busciglio (NJ Footlights)

Audiences and critics alike are raving over Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written and directed by Charles Morey and running now through October 28 in the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Before Twilight and True Blood, only one vampire commanded “the children of the night.” In this blood-thirsty tale of unholy terror, Count Dracula slips into Victorian London with a cargo of his native Transylvanian soil - so he can rest between victims. The city seems helpless against his frightful power, and only one man, Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage. But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake.

dracula blood

Featuring a cast of professional actors from across the tri-state area, Dracula is directed by Charles Morey. Morey is a director, playwright and former artistic director with more than forty-five years’ experience in the professional theatre and extensive credits from coast to coast. Performances for Dracula continue now through October 28. Specific performance dates are Fridays Oct. 19 and 26 at 8PM; Saturdays Oct. 20 and 27 at 8PM; Sundays Oct. 21 and 28 at 2PM; Wednesdays Oct. 17 and 24 at 2PM and Thursdays Oct. 18 and 25 at 7:30PM. All performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Centenary Stage Company’s production of Dracula is sponsored by season sponsor Heath Village and series sponsor The House of the Good Shepherd.

Adult ticket prices for Dracula are $25.00 matinee performances, $27.50 Friday evening performances, and $29.50 Saturday evening performances. Tickets for children under 12 are $17.50 matinee and Friday evening performances and $20.00 Saturday evening. Thursday evening performances are $27.50 for all seats with a Buy One/Get One rush ticket special. BOGO ticket special is only valid in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office beginning at 5:30PM. BOGO is not valid for advance ticket sales and may not be combined with any other offer or discount. Centenary Stage Company also offers special Buffet Matinees on Wednesday afternoon performances for groups of 25 or more. Enjoy lunch/brunch in one of our private dining rooms and receive discounted tickets to the performance. To reserve a buffet matinee or to inquire about additional group sales contact the Centenary Stage Company box office directly. Centenary Stage Company also offers a variety of discounts for groups, students and alumni, staff and faculty of Centenary University. Contact the box office directly for a full listing of all CSC special promotions, offers and discounts.

Jennifer Fawcett’s award winning Apples in Winter in limited run at CSC

Photo - Apples in Winter in development WPS

Centenary Stage Company’s 2018 – 19 theatrical season continues with the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Jennifer Fawcett’s award winning Apples in Winter. Limited performances will run November 8 through November 18 at the Centenary Stage Company Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.

Twenty-two years ago, Miriam’s son, Robert, committed a horrible crime while in the grips of withdrawal. It was violent and terrifying and resulted in the deaths of two teenagers who did not deserve to die in such a violent and terrifying way. Robert was caught, tried, and convicted of first-degree murder and has been sitting on death row ever since. In seven hours the state will execute him. As is the tradition, Robert is granted a last meal. His request: a slice of his mother’s apple pie. This is a play about monsters and the mothers of monsters. And about how we care for each other. And about how to make a really good apple pie.

Winner of Centenary Stage Company’s 2017 Susan Glaspell award and recipient of the prestigious National New Play Network (NNPN) Smith Prize of 2015-16, Apples in Winter will premiere at Centenary Stage Company as part of the NNPN Rolling World Premiere program. The flagship initiative, NNPN’s Rolling World Premiere (RWP) program is shifting the new play paradigm of the one-and-done premiere to a diversified, traveling, multi-production premiere. The program models a process for developing and producing new plays by supporting three or more theaters that choose to mount the same new play within a 12-month period. The playwright is part of the process allowing for the further development of the new work with multiple creative teams in multiple communities. NNPN has championed the RWPs of 75 new plays with over one million dollars in financial support. RWP alumni plays have received hundreds of subsequent productions and citations in markets across the world, been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won Steinberg/ATCA, Stavis, PEN and Blackburn awards, and adapted into feature films. Apples In Winter marks the 75th new play to be a part of the NNPN RWP program with other productions being presented at Riverside Theatre (Iowa City, IA) and Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN).

Jennifer Fawcett is a co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of Working Group Theatre (WGT).  She was the NNPN Emerging-Playwright-In-Residence at Curious Theatre Company (Denver) and is the winner of the NNPN Smith Prize for Political Theatre and the Susan Glaspell Award for Apples in Winter, the NEFA National Theatre Award with WGT for Out of Bounds, the National Science Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center for Atlas of Mud and her play Birth Witches was nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award.

A graduate of the University of Iowa MFA Playwrights Workshop, Jennifer's plays have been produced at the Source Festival (Washington, DC), Uprising Theatre Company (Minneapolis), Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project (Nashville), The Drilling Company (New York), Riverside Theatre (Iowa City), Available Light Theatre (Columbus), Hancher Auditorium (Iowa City), the Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY), Halcyon Theatre (Chicago), Theatre Masters (Aspen/West Palm Beach), the Hatchery Festival (Washington, DC), and developed at Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Summer Residency Lab, the Banff Playwrights Colony, the Lark Playwright’s Week, Cultural Conversations (Penn State), the Little Festival of the Unexpected (Portland Stage Company, ME), Central Square Theatre and M.I.T. (Cambridge, MA), Curious Theatre (Denver), Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Palm Beach Dramaworks (West Palm Beach, FL), and Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor, MI).  Prior to moving to the U.S., Jennifer worked in Toronto, Canada, where she toured with her company, Red Engine Productions, to festivals across the country. For a full bio visit

Apples in Winter runs November 8 through November 18 in Centenary Stage Company’s Lackland Performing Arts Center. Individual performance dates are Fridays, November 9 and 16 at 8PM; Saturdays, November 10 and 17 at 8PM; Sundays, November 11 and 18 at 2PM; Wednesday, November 14 at 2PM and Thursdays, November 8 and 15 at 7:30PM. Tickets are $25.00 for adults on matinee performances, $27.50 for adults on Friday evening performances, $29.50 for adults on Saturday evening performances and $27.50 for ALL SEATS with a Buy One/Get One rush ticket special when purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office beginning at 5:30PM. BOGO offer not valid for advance ticket sales and may not be combined with any other discounts. Centenary Stage Company also offers a variety of group sale, buffet matinee and discounts to students and children under 12.

1007LacklandBldg - CopyFor more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to every scheduled performance. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ on the campus of Centenary University. Centenary Stage Company can also be found on social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

Dreamcatcher’s Multiple Personality Disorder: Improv Comedy for Halloween on October 27!

Group Slide Show (1)

DREAMCATCHER REPERTORY THEATRE, professional Theatre in Residence at Oakes Center in Summit, celebrates Halloween with an evening of improv comedy featuring its resident troupe, MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER, on October 27. This unpredictable evening is an affordable, enjoyable evening that is packed with laughs from start to finish.

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER features a cast of Dreamcatcher improv regulars, including Clark Carmichael, Laura Ekstrand, Noreen Farley, Lulu French, Dave Maulbeck, and Scott McGowan. Special guests Philipe AbiYouness and David Lee White join the fun as well.

The show includes improvisational comedy sketches that use audience suggestions to shape the scenes that the actors instantly create onstage.  Performers use ingredients such as everyday objects, strange maladies, and unusual circumstances to cook up unconventional mini-plays that appear and disappear in a matter of minutes.  Every show is unique, with delightful surprises throughout the evening.

Unique for this show is a Halloween costume contest. Audience members who wear a costume will be eligible to win a role in one of the improv games, and all who attend are invited to stay for a Halloween reception after the show.

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER will appear (and disappear!) at Dreamcatcher on Saturday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $20, and $15.00 for students 25 and younger. To purchase tickets in advance, go to or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

The performance is at Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit.  The parking lot is accessible from Ashwood Avenue, behind the theatre. For information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654,



Oradell, NJ, October 20, 2018 - Bergen County Players (BCP), one of
America's longest-running little theater companies, is proud to
present in its 86th season the 1937 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, You
Can't Take It With You. Written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart,
You Can't Take It With You will be performed at the Little Firehouse
Theatre in Oradell from October 20th through November 10th, 2018.
Even after 82 years we still can't avoid the chaos of 'wealth loving
the poor" all in this hilarious comedy featured at the little
Playhouse in Oradell Shows will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and
Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets can be purchased online at,
by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298
Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.
The Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was adapted for the
big screen as You Can't Take It with You? which won the Academy Award
for Best Picture and Best Director in 1939.   Later adapted for
television, and is considered a favorite of American high school

Its 1936 and we share Martin Vabderhof's "Grandpa" 360 degree view of
the "money vs life-balance" world around him that comes with a
charming daughter who loves tranquility,  a beautiful granddaughter
Alice that only wishes her family was a little more normal, her
sister Essis who let's just say is not the best dancer, with a
host of silly social misfits all living together and in the house to
meet the young wealthy banker's son Tony - who wants to be the Mr
to Grandpa's granddaughter  and Tony's parents might be too smug to
admit they need some pursuit life instead of money for happiness in
their lives.  Within all this, we find a moment to laugh cry and love
will that be enough in the end for Tony and Alice's future wedding
dreams... jump in a chair and come see the ?opening curtain to final
words for chilling giggles and laughs as we try to see how comical
lives can truly be.
Director Lynne Lupfer of Tenafly is a Life Member and seasoned BCP
director, having previously helmed the BCP productions of Leading
Ladies, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and The Mouse That Roared. She has
also served on the crew of countless other productions.
The Talented cast of ?You Can?t Take It With You? includes Roy Harry
as 'Grandpa" Martin Vabderhof (of Upper Saddle River), Debbie
Buchsbaum as Penny Sycamore (of River Vale) , Glenn Woertz as Glenn
Sycamore (of Alpine), Vianna Fagel as Alice Sycamore (of Montclair),
Katie Lupfer as Essie Charmichael (of Tenafly), Sean Coyle as Ed
Charmichael (of Hackensack), Ross Pohling as Tony Kirby (of Westwood),
David Luke as Anthony Kirby Sr. (of Mahwah), Cynthia Smith Barry as
Miriam Kirby (of Fair Lawn), Earle Ziff as Boris Kolenkhof (of
Englewood), Rob Kopil as Mr. De Pinna (of Suffern, NY), Kevin Brady as
Donald (of Jersey City), Evianna Hawkins as Rheba (of Westwood),
Andrew Whitney as Wilbur Henderson (of Ramsey), Mara Karg as the Grand
Duchess Olga Katrina (of Nanuet, NY), Anthony Bailey as The Man (of
Ramsey), Eric Jusino as Mac (of Carlstadt) and Larry Laterza as Jim
(of River Edge).
The production team is comprised of Lynne Lupfer (Director/ Set
Design), Michele Roth (Producer), Geri Berhain (Stage-manager/AD), Ron
Drobes (Set Design Construction), Ellyn Essig (Set-décor), Joe Lanteri
(Lighting Design), Julie Steckler-Kopil (Lighting Operation), Tim
Larsen (Sound Design), Randi Kestin (Sound Operation), Barbra Murtha
(Properties), Bunny Mateosian (Costumes/ Mentor), Debbie McGarrity
(Make-up), Eileen Winkler (Member-at-large), Debbie Buchsbaum
(Program), Colleen Sweeney (Dramaturge), David Arts (Stunts), Diana
Baer (Choreographer), Jennifer Cottone (Publicity/Marketing), Anthony
Bailey (Publicity), Barbara Mintz (Photography),  and Steve Mintz
•        All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre
at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players
since 1949.  Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and
Sundays at 2pm.
•        Tickets for You Can't Take It With You are $21 for all
performances Friday and Saturday, and $17 on Sundays, and can be
purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by
visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during
regular box office hours.  Visa, Master Card, and American Express are
•        BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session will be
held following the performance on Friday, October 26, 2018.
•        Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties
can call (201) 261-4200 (mailbox #6)
•        BCP offers seating to accommodate patrons who are mobility
impaired. These seats can be purchased by calling the box office at
201-261-4200 and will be released for public sale two weeks prior to
•        Advance discount tickets for students age 25 and under with
proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only, and student
rush seats can be purchased for $5 (cash only) starting 30 minutes
before curtain at every performance, pending seat availability. There
is a limit of one rush ticket per student.
•        A new program is now available for qualified non-profit
organizations to use one performance of each production as a
fundraising event.  The group will book all 200 seats at a deeply
discounted price and then resell the tickets at a price of their
choosing, with the difference in price kept by the group. The
available date is the Thursday of each show?s final weekend.
Interested groups can email for more
•        Parking is free for our patrons at the Park Avenue municipal
lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well
as street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all
within easy walking distance.
Further information can be found at
The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community
theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the
enrichment of the community.

Front row:  Vianna Fagel, Roy Harry Back row:  Debbie Buchsbaum, Glenn
Woertz, Rob Kopil, Katie Lupfer, Sean Coyle Photo courtesy of Barbara
and Steve Mintz

Monday, October 15, 2018

'Macbeth' next at Circle Players

Circle Players is proud to present the second production of its 2018-2019 season, “Macbeth,” by William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s classic tale of a brave and loyal general who receives a prophecy that he will become king. Consumed by ambition, Macbeth murders the King and takes the throne, but is wracked with guilt and paranoia that spurs his downfall.

The play will be directed by Jessica Damrow Sherman of Summit, and produced by JD Robinson of Highland Park.
Performances are:

o Fridays: November 16 and 30 at 8:00pm
o Saturdays: November 17, 24, and December 1 at 8:00pm
o Sundays: November 25 and December 2 at 3:00pm

A talkback will be held following the November 25 performance.

Appearing in the play are:

Malik Abdul Khaaliq of King of Prussia, PA, Heidi Hart of Maplewood, Casey Woods of Spring Lake, Garrett Gallinot of Toms River, Matt Lafargue of Dunellen, Stacie Renz of Easton, PA, Allison Mitchell of Somerset, Liz Rapelye of South Plainfield, and Liz Colagrande of Manville.

Audiences are invited to join in a special wine and cheese reception in the theater lobby following the opening night performance.

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway. Please be advised: due to the unique layout of this theater in the round, latecomers cannot be seated after the performance has started. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain.

For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at

Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

'3 Egg Creams' one man show in Lakewood


The Color Purple 1_Paper Mill Playhouse_Photo by Matthew Murphy

By Ruth Ross

You may have loved Alice Walker’s novel and the 1985 film version starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, but you’ll marvel at the musical version of The Color Purple now onstage at the Paper Mill Theatre in Millburn. With its inventive staging, strong performances and majestic music, this iteration of Walker’s tale of female empowerment—in particular, black female empowerment—feels as relevant to the #Metoo era of 2018 as it was when Walker wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in 1982.

Ms6mgJgw.jpegThe plot charting Celie’s transformation from shy 14-year-old impregnated by her Pa to Mister’s abused, overworked wife to powerful, independent woman unfolds on a bare four-level stage over which loom three wooden towers holding many chairs, which are taken down and arranged by the actors to suit various locations. (left, Adrianna Hicks as Celie and Carrie Compere as Nellie)

Denied the love of family—her newborn children are given away by her Pa, and her beloved big sister Nettie flees to escape Mister’s unwanted attentions—Celie actually believes she is worthless and ugly until two very strong women, her sister-in-law Sofia and entertainer Shug Avery, point out her inner beauty and strength. Indeed, it’s Shug who references the play’s title, telling Celie to open up her eyes to see the world’s beauty, especially the “color purple” created by God. Through a series of revelations, Celie learns to assert herself, ending up as a noted designer and maker of pants for women and men so she can be financially independent, and to finally get the love she so obviously deserves.

iPRs5zxw.jpegAdrianna Hicks’ portrayal of Celie(right) is nothing short of astonishing. She looks and feels small in the opening scenes, singing a children’s song, praying with her sister and trying to melt into the background so no one will notice her. Over the course of the action, Hicks appears to grow taller in stature, and her apparent physical ugliness in the beginning blooms into real beauty by the final scenes. Her voice, once so quiet, lets us know she’s been transformed, especially in the anthem announcing “I’m Here.” Her wonder at learning things that will change her life (no spoilers!) is palpable, and her love for Shug Avery endearing.

Shug, played with sass and vitality by Carla R. Stewart , is the liberated black woman who not only guides Celie on the path to enlightenment but really loves her (although at times you wouldn’t know it). Stewart conveys the vulnerability of a woman trying to withdraw from alcohol and drugs, yet she knows how to “Push da Button” to arouse the men who hang on her every word. And she tells Celie she’s “Too Beautiful for Words” in a tender ballad.

Carrie Compere, who played Sofia on Broadway as well as on the national tour, fills the stage whenever she appears, and in “Hell No!” her Sofia lets us know in no uncertain terms that she won’t be pushed around by her husband Harpo (Jay Donnell). Compere wears Sofia’s feistiness like a robe and proves to be a good role model for Celie who finally gets the gumption to talk back to her demanding husband.

Gavin Gregory  has the thankless role of evil Mister, and he performs it very well. Alternately leering, growling and stomping around, he’s the true epitome of the “Big Dog” so admired by the other men. His harrowing response to “Celie’s Curse” aside, he manages to be sympathetic in the final scenes when he apologizes to Celie and tries to reestablish their relationship. As Celie’s sister, the appropriately prim Nettie, N’jameh Camara recounts her sojourn in Africa teaching the native children to read and conveys the horror of being attacked by soldiers and having the village burn down around them. And Erica Durham is an adorable Squeak who schemes to take Sofia’s place in Harpo’s heart but is not above seeking fame in Memphis. The rest of the ensemble provides terrific support, singing, dancing and acting a variety of roles from gossiping, judgmental Church Ladies to denizens of Harpo’s juke joint.

John Doyle, the original director of both the London and New York productions of The Color Purple, appears to have transferred both versions seamlessly to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. He even designed the sets and staged the musical. One of the motifs, folding, unfolding and refolding large sheets of cloth signifies the endless work of Southern black women; its counterpart is seen in Africa with large swaths of brightly colored native cloth are unfurled and refolded. Ann Hould-Ward’s cotton dresses are appropriate to poor black women while Shug’s beaded dresses and coats let us know she’s “arrived.” Jane Cox is to be commended for her lighting design as is Dan Moses Schreier for sound. Conductor Darryl Archibald’s orchestra provides able accompaniment without overpowering the singers.

When women are treated as objects to be used and abused, they often believe they are worthless. Shug and Sofia’s strength, Nettie’s dogged quest for an education and Celie’s transformation into an independent woman who doesn’t need a man remind us of women’s vital role in shaping society and anchoring the family, while pursuing their own dreams. And, while the men don’t come off too well throughout most of the play, they too are redeemed by love. (Above, women in Celie’s pants; Adrianna Hicks in center)

You may not have seen the Broadway production of The Color Purple, but you won’t have to go far to experience the power of Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray’s music and lyrics and Marsha Norman’s literate script. This ground-breaking musical is perfect for teens and adults of any age. Its uplifting message is just the antidote to what some feel to be the chaos swirling around us today.

The Color Purple will be performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, through October 21. For performance information and tickets, call the box office at 973.376.4343 or visit online.

P.S. The Color Purple opens Paper Mill Playhouse’s 80th season in their newly-renovated auditorium. Check out the comfortable seats and nifty new carpet!

Photos by Jerry Dalia.

Light Opera of New Jersey Announces 24th Season!

Don't miss a production by becoming a Season Subscriber! by October 31, 2018 for more information.

Buy tickets & learn more

April 2019

Learn more

July 2019

Learn more

We are proud to be expanding our education programs to young performers and aspiring artists. The Opera for Kids program will bring musical appreciation and first hand encounters with professional singers to pre-school and elementary age students.  We are also launching our Young Artist Program series, which will include Master Classes on "How to Audition for a Musical or Opera" for high school and college age singers. Our first Master Class is Saturday, November 10, 2018. We hope you will join us!

William Corson, Executive Producer

Please contact to register for the above date.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church
140 S Finley Ave
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Review: King of the vampires Dracula reigns at the CSC! Terrific production!

dracula moon
Centenary Stage Company has launched the 2018-19 professional theatre season with Charles Morey’s chilling adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel, Dracula.  Remember Bela Lugosi from the classic 1932 film  Dracula?  Well Charles Morey, who has directed his own reinterpretation of this  perfect Halloween treat, gives us an equally malevolent Count Dracula. Marc Levasseur (above & below right) with his powerful stage presence is outstanding as the King of the vampires (can a Count be a King?).  Levasseur’s Dracula towers over his prey constantly in the protection of the night to satisfy his unquenchable appetite for blood. We first meet him in his dark, gloomy castle in Romania’s Transylvania. He is “entertaining” a visitor from London, Jonathan Harker  (Christopher Young). Harker has arranged for the Count to journey to England to take up residence in an  equally gloomy, secluded Yorkshire manor house. Chris Young is impressive as the initially naïve lawyer, later as a fearless leader in the quest to stop the Count.
dracula carl cross
Count Dracula arrives in London with a cargo of his native Transylvanian soil - so he can rest between victims. Quickly he “seduces” several  beautiful young woman leaving them with nasty-looking puncture marks on their necks.  He can be stopped, or more likely paused, by a cross, garlic, or a piece of communion wafer. However, the city seems helpless against his frightful thirst. Only one man, the Dutch  professor Dr. Van Helsing (Carl Wallnau-above left), can stop the bizarre feasting (or can he?). But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake. Can I say that Wallnau “nails” the part?
dracula em
Featured in the cast of 16: is Emaline Williams (above) as the pious, strong willed  Mina Murray Harker excellent as a late Dracula target cursed by being forced to drink Dracula's blood. Can they save her? Miss Williams was a standout in the CSC’s recent production of Hitler’s Tasters. Earlier, Lucy Westenra; played by Haley Barna; is the Count’s first English conquest. Both women are terrific; particularly in their chilling bedroom scenes with Dracula…. the Seducer.
dracula 2

Also excellent are: Peter Kendall as Arthur Holmwood, a young nobleman and Lucy’s fiancée… and Nicholas Wilder (photo right), a veteran of the prestigious New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre, as Dr. Seward, Lucy’s former suitor who runs the insane asylum near Dracula's new estate. Lastly, an absolute standout is Gary Littman (photo left) as the crazed, bug eating, Renfield. The stage term “scenery chewer” applies.

The supporting cast members are: Charlotte Harvey, David Littleton, Nick Bettens, Joe Anthony, Ally Borgstrom, Bianna Morris, Kathryn Pedersen, and Julia Stibich.

Production team leaders: Danielle Constance-Stage Manager; Tim Gobeliewski, assisted by ToniAnne DiFilippo-Set Design (Excellent Set); Ed Matthews-Lighting Design; Jeff Chase-Technical Director; Ashleigh Poteat-Costume Design and Makeup; and Chet Miller-Sound and Projection Design.

Writer/director Morey clearly deserves his own standing ovation. He has worked all the intricate pieces of this production as a chess master.
Even if you are very be familiar with the story from the book, or the many tv and film versions, this clever staging and impressive cast will provide a properly chillingly experience. Please see on a night with a full moon. Great date event.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  October 12, 2018

Performances for Dracula run from October 12 to October 28. Specific performance dates are Fridays Oct. 12, 19, and 26 at 8PM; Saturdays Oct. 13, 20, and 27 at 8PM; Sundays Oct. 14, 21, and 28 at 2PM; Wednesdays Oct. 17 and 24 at 2PM and Thursdays Oct. 18 and 25 at 7:30PM. All performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Centenary Stage Company’s production of Dracula is sponsored by season sponsor Heath Village and series sponsor The House of the Good Shepherd.

Adult ticket prices for Dracula are $25.00 matinee performances, $27.50 Friday evening performances, and $29.50 Saturday evening performances. Tickets for children under 12 are $17.50 matinee and Friday evening performances and $20.00 Saturday evening. Thursday evening performances are $27.50 for all seats with a Buy One/Get One rush ticket special. BOGO ticket special is only valid in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office beginning at 5:30PM. BOGO is not valid for advance ticket sales and may not be combined with any other offer or discount. Centenary Stage Company also offers special Buffet Matinees on Wednesday afternoon performances for groups of 25 or more.

Additional Photos:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Luna Stage Hosting Tonight Conversation with Grass Roots Activists After Performance of Pirira.


West Orange, NJ  Luna Stage will host a lively post-show conversation with Elizabeth Juliver, Co-founder and Political Director of NJ 11th For Change, a grassroots progressive activist group centered in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional district, where Democrat Mikie Sherril and Republican Jay Webber are running for the seat vacated by Peter Frelinghuysen. Also participating in the conversation are Analilia Mejia, Director on NJ Working Families, and Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Urban Studies at The New School. The discussion will follow the Saturday, October 13 performance of Pirira. Pirira is a vibrant, political, big-hearted play and will serve as the perfect partner for an animated and informative conversation with three progressive political activists about the nature of activism today and how to get get involved.

J.Stephen Brantley’s award-winning play Pirira, directed by Luna’s new Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith opened Luna’s 2018-19 season. Set in Malawi amidst riots that took place in the city of Llilongwe on July 20, 2011, and simultaneously in Manhattan, Pirira introduces us to four young people whose charged interactions unfold in the shadows of HIV, poverty, drought, and gender-based violence. Pirira is the winner of the New York Innovative Theater Award for Best Premiere of a Play.

The play explores the challenges of international aid across interpersonal borders, and asks how we bridge seemingly impossible cultural divides. The cast includes John P. Keller, Kevis Hillocks, Naja Selby-Morton, and David Gow. Pirira is inspired, in part, by Brantley’s experiences as a writer for Madonna’s NGO Raising Malawi and also by William Kamkwamba’s autobiographical The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Pirira runs Thursday-Sunday through October 28. Tickets are on sale at


Post-show conversation with Elizabeth Juliver of NJ 11th For Change, Analilia Mejia of NJ Working Families and Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Urban Studies
Following Saturday, October 13th performance of
Pirira by J. Stephen Brantley, Directed by Ari Laura Kreith
At Luna Stage, 555 Valley Street, West Orange, NJ 973 395 5551
Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission.

World premiere "Wolf at the Door" next at NJ Rep


Alexandra Lemus, Liz Zazzi, Desiree Pino, Oscar A.L. Cabrera in a  scene from the world premiere of  Marisela Treviño Orta's "Wolf at the Door" playing at NJ Rep, 179 Broadway, Long Branch, Oct 18 thru Nov 18. For tickets call 732-229-3166 or visit


Photo credit: SuzAnne Barabas

‘King Hedley II’ part of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle next at Two River


RED BANK, NJ — Marking the halfway point in its commitment to present all 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, Two River Theater announces the complete cast and creative team for its production of Wilson’s “exhilarating” (The New York Times) and incendiary drama King Hedley II, directed by Brandon J. Dirden. For the first time, the theater will be presenting one of Wilson’s plays in its intimate 110-seat Marion Huber Theater, with performances beginning on November 10 and continuing for an extended five-week run through Sunday, December 16. The opening night performance is Friday, November 16 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or The production sponsors are Monmouth University and Collex Collision Experts.

August Wilson is the 10th most produced playwright of the current season in the United States, according to American Theater magazine. Two River’s staging of King Hedley II is currently the only production of this rarely seen play happening anywhere in the world.

The year is 1985 and Pittsburgh’s Hill District has been ravaged by violence, unemployment, and urban blight. King Hedley II returns to his home after a seven-year prison term looking to re-build his life, save some money, and start a family. However, both he and those around him quickly find that in 1980s America, the rules have changed.

Brandon J. Dirden—the award-winning actor/director who has appeared in five Two River productions, including, most recently, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and A Raisin in the Sun—directs this sequel to Seven Guitars, which was produced under his direction at Two River in 2015. King Hedley II picks up the stories of Ruby and Canewell (known here as Stool Pigeon) from the earlier drama, which is set in the 1940s.

The cast of King Hedley II includes Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya), Harvy Blanks (Elmore), Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon), Elain Graham (Ruby), Charlie Hudson III (Mister), and Blake Morris (King Hedley II).

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Kay Richardson, and wigs designer Erin Hicks. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson.

Says Artistic Director John Dias, Over the past decade, Two River Theater has made a commitment to producing plays that deal with issues of race, social justice, and our shared history. These include four plays from August Wilson’s majestic American Century Cycle: Jitney, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. With each production, the artists who work here—and the audiences who are coming here to see these plays—are engaged in emotional and complex conversations about race. We believe that, as a theater, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to this evolving civic discourse.”

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $40 to $80, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.


‘Other Desert Cities’ next at The Company Theatre Group

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Auditions: Neil Simon's ‘Biloxi Blues’ at Somerset Valley Players


WHAT:  Open Auditions for "Biloxi Blues," Neil Simon's autobiographical comedy about a young Army recruit in 1943 in a boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi.

WHEN:  Thursday, October 25, and Sunday, October 28, at 7 pm.  Callbacks TBD.

SHOW DATES:  January 25 - February 10, 2019

NEEDED:  Director Todd Bennington is looking for:

7 MALES (Ages 20s-50s)

2 FEMALES (Ages 20s-40s)

Complete character breakdowns can be found on the Audition page of the SVP website, at

SPECIAL NOTE FOR AUDITIONERS:  Actors playing the soldiers must have some physical stamina and also be comfortable performing scenes in just underwear and tee shirts


Mailing address:
601 Rt 206 Suite 26-216, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Playhouse Location:
689 Amwell Road (Rte 514), Hillsborough, NJ  08844-3317

"The Theater is Wheelchair Accessible and Barrier-Free."

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

‘You Can’t Take It With You’ at Holmdel Theatre Company

You Can't Take It with You

Holmdel Theatre CompanyHolmdel Theatre Company Presents

You Can't Take It with You

Oct 26, 2018 - Nov 11, 2018

The Duncan Smith Theater, Holmdel, NJ

The Holmdel Theatre Company presents "You Can't Take It with You", one of the most popular and successful plays of modern times. Written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, directed by Jake Oliver.

Ticket prices are $25 general public ($20 for seniors and $15 for students).


Written by Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman

Directed by Jake Oliver

Show Dates:

OCT. 26, 27 NOV. 2, 3, 9, 10 @ 8 PM

OCT. 28, NOV. 4, 11 @ 2 PM

About The Show

"Sweet-natured Alice Sycamore falls for banker's son Tony Kirby. But when she invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner to give their blessing to the marriage, Alice's peculiar extended family -- including philosophical grandfather Martin Vanderhof, hapless fledgling ballerina sister Essie and fireworks enthusiast father, Paul -- might be too eccentric for the staid Kirbys."

The Cast







All performances are at the Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 (The white barn in front of the Holmdel High School)